By Shambhu Nath Choudhary
Ranchi, March 26 (IANS) Chumbru Tamsoy, a resident of Kumarita village in Jharkhand’s West Singhbhum district single-handedly dug a 20-ft deep pond measuring 100 by 100 ft.
He never sought help from the government or any one else for this.
The water needs of the entire village are fulfilled by this pond. 72-year-old Tamsoy has spent his entire life digging and expanding this pond. Even though the passage of time made him physically weak, his passion to save water and spread greenery stands firm.
Tamsoy’s journey started around 45 years ago in 1975, when the people of the area suffered a drought and faced shortage of food.
During that time, a contractor from Uttar Pradesh came to the village and got some youth to accompany him to Rai Bareli for daily-wages work, Tamsoy was one of them.
There, he and other others were made to dig earth for a canal and were paid a meagre sum by the contractor for a whole day’s work. The workers were scolded, harassed and not paid enough.
Tamsoy realised that if he had to dig soil while staying hundreds of miles away from home, he could do the same back home in his village. He returned soon after.
Initially upon reaching the village, Tamsoy started gardening on his land, but was dejected when a nearby pond-owner flatly refused to supply water for irrigation. Tamsoy decided to dig a pond on the same day itself.
Along with farming, he took out four to five hours every day to dig the soil for the pond.
Tamsoy shared that he would light some firewood and dig in the night if he did not get time to do the same on some days.
He was ridiculed by the villagers who called him a fool.
Tamsoy soon got married and had a child. He thought that his wife, unlike everyone else, would help him in digging the soil, but she too considered his work as madness.
He kept on digging with the dream that one day the pond would be a source of water for everyone in the village.
Fed up with his ‘madness’, Tamsoy’s wife left him and settled with someone else. Despite being hurt, he kept digging and the pond got completed within a few years.
Water started getting accumulated in the pond, fulfilling irrigation needs. However, Tamsoy did not stop at the small win, he continued to increase the size of the pond, inch by inch, everyday, until it became a large pond of 100 by 100 feet.
The pond now holds water throughout the year and fish farming is also done in it.
Tamsoy cultivates crops on around 5 acres of land with the help of this pond. He has also planted around 60 trees, including Mango, Arjun, Neem and Sal.
Other farmers of the village also use the water for farming and day to day needs. Earlier, only one crop of paddy used to be grown throughout the year in the village, now farmers also grow tomatoes, cabbage, green chillies, coriander, etc., in their fields.
Tamsoy hopes that the pond gets increased at least to 200 by 200-ft so that there is no water crisis in the village in the coming days.
He stated that he would keep working till the time his hands supported him.
The only government recognition that Tamsoy has received so far was in 2017, where he was honoured in a programme organised by the state Fisheries Department in Ranchi.